Predictions: Skate Canada International 2015

Italy Figure Skating Worlds

I had forgotten about how fast-paced these GP competitions are in terms of the blogging schedule. I have just recovered from Skate America and now we’re on to Skate Canada! Some of the competitions here will feature some great and exciting match-ups, making predictions hard but I’ll do my best!

Men

The battle for gold at Skate Canada will be intense – Patrick Chan will have his a rematch against his main rival in Sochi, Yuzuru Hanyu on home ice. Judging from their pre-season competitions at the Japan Open and the Skate Canada Autumn Classic, both of them looked pretty rough but I expect both of them to be trained by the time this weekend rolls around. I think the competition will mainly be about which skates their best technically. However, perhaps my break from figure skating during the summer was a little long since Max Aaron’s home ice advantage PCS at Skate America shocked me a little bit – which, in truth, really shouldn’t. In terms of PCS itself, both skaters have gotten some pretty good, coherent choreography this season though I tend to prefer Yuzuru’s more edgy, passionate programs. I would give Chan the edge on skating skills but Hanyu the advantage in interpretation. In my opinion, their PCS should be about the same but home ice advantage might tip the scales in Patrick Chan’s favour. As long as it’s not egregious enough to be Chanflation, I can forgive that.

The battle for bronze might be another Canada vs. Japan showdown between Nam Nguyen and Daisuke Murakami. Nguyen is fun to watch and great when he’s on point but he lacks consistency. Murakami, on the other hand, has been overshadowed by a lot of his Japanese teammates, giving him few chances to compete internationally – he can very well surprise us all as he did last year where he won at NHK but couldn’t qualify for the GPF because he didn’t compete at 2 GP events.

Predictions

Gold: Patrick Chan
Silver:
Yuzuru Hanyu
Bronze:
Daisuke Murakami

Ladies

The ladies competition is pretty stacked here at Skate Canada. My gold prediction will obviously be current World Champion, Elizaveta Tuktamysheva, who I pray very very hard will get good programs this year. Of course, I expect the Skate Gods (or maybe just Papa Mishin and Liza’s choreographer) to spite me and have her skate to something that looks like Morozombie choreography on crack and steroids.

If Tuktamysheva skates well, the main showdown will be for the rest of the podium spots as we have quite a few contenders. Some names that stand out include Kanako Murakami, who can be very good or terrible depending on her programs. I find that Kanako is stagnating a bit in terms of technique – she still flutzes occasionally and hasn’t really fixed her hammer toe and slight mule kick going into her toe jumps. Coupled with a program that is bland at best, we get a faded Kanako that can be so much better. Another skater who I consider to be in the same boat is Ashley Wagner, although Wagner tends to surprise us from time to time and can sell her programs even if they are a bit empty. Wagner may have a chance at the podium but I may have to give the edge on her younger teammate, Polina Edmunds. Edmunds still needs to find a style and “packaging” that shows her off well in the senior circuit and I’m not sure if puberty has been kind to her but I guess we’ll see this weekend.

Another skater with youth on her side is Elizabet Tursynbaeva. This girl was a pleasant surprise from Skate America and what I love about her is that she’s in it to win it. Her focus and commitment to her programs allow her to present herself very maturely despite being very young compared to some of the more seasoned competitors. I am hoping that I see a bright future for this girl and with Brian Orser on her side, I think she has a decent shot at it.

Also to consider is home ice favourite, Katelyn Osmund who has returned to competition after sitting out with injuries last season. Regaining momentum will be a tough battle for Osmund but this girl skates like she’s not afraid of winning. I’m not sure if she can medal here but I think her goal for this competition should be to get two strong skates to start everything well and gain momentum for the season.

Ok, these predictions will be way off. I am taking huge guesses over here.

Predictions

Gold: Elizaveta Tuktamysheva
Silver:
Katelyn Osmond
Bronze:
Elizabet Tursynbaeva

Pairs

So. Barring injury or something absolutely catastrophic, I expect Meagan Duhamel & Eric Radford to win this thing hands down without much of a fight. None of the teams at Skate Canada have the technical firepower to even come close to D&R so I’d only be surprised if they didn’t win the gold.

Now that that’s out of the way, I believe that Evgenia Tarasova & Vladimir Morozov have had a steady partnership and past results that should give them the silver.  As for the bronze, I have no bloody clue at all. We have a bunch of teams where one partner has done decently well in former partnerships – namely Marissa Castelli & Mervin Tran, Kirsten Moore-Towers & Rob Marinaro, Valentina Marchei & Ondrej Hotarek and Vera Bazarova & Andrei Deputat. Seeing that M-T&M have had the longest partnership out of the lot and have home-ice advantage, I’ll slot them into the bronze position and see what happens.

Predictions

Gold: Meagan Duhamel & Eric Radford
Silver:
Evgenia Tarasova & Vladimir Morozov
Bronze:
Kirsten Moore-Towers & Rob Marinaro

Ice Dance

The name of the game in ice dance here is experience. I expect that as World silver medalists on home ice, Kaitlyn Weaver & Andrew Poje can comfortably work on perfecting their programs and still win the gold. I find this team to be stagnating but I hope that they’ve worked more on the technical aspects of their skating during the off season. Everyone can complain about Chock & Bates all they want but the current top American team skates with precision, which is how they rack up points. Weaver & Poje have the potential to be absolutely pure magic if they combine their artistic and well-choreographed programs with speed and power, which we have seen from them in the past. Now what we need from them is that and a ton of polish.

The other two spots on the podium will likely become a showdown between Maia & Alex Shibutani and Ekaterina Bobrova & Dmitri Soloviev.  Seeing how the latter team missed the entirety of last season for Soloviev’s knee surgery, I would give the edge to the sibling team. Furthermore, the Ravensburger Waltz pattern and style is right up the Shibsibs’ alley. I just hope that Marina Zueva has created something decent for these two to skate to. Personally, I think that the Shibsibs should’ve switched coaches long ago to give them some fresh material but that’s their call, not mine.

Predictions

Gold: Kaitlyn Weaver & Andrew Poje
Silver:
Maia Shibutani & Alex Shibutani
Bronze:
Ekaterina Bobrova & Dmitri Soloviev

What are your predictions for Skate Canada? I’m super curious about your opinion about who will win the men’s competition. I can’t seem to find the poll function on WordPress but just type “Chan” or “Hanyu” in the comments section below to cast your vote!

It’s Halloween this weekend so there may be busy but whenever I can, I will try to live tweet during competitions! To join me, follow me on Twitter @RinksideCafe!

~The Rinkside Cafe

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3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. chasingpolaris
    Nov 02, 2015 @ 15:21:42

    You had everything right except for the ladies. I’m sure Liza’s performance threw a lot of people off, including me.

    Reply

  2. Quyen Thuy Tran
    Nov 03, 2015 @ 01:15:58

    I am still laughing at GOE for Patrick. LOL

    Reply

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